Some nations can influence and control their media greatly. In addition, powerful corporations are becoming major influences on mainstream media. In some places major multinational corporations own media stations and outlets. Moreover, even as numbers of media outlets increase, the ownership is becoming ever more concentrated as mega mergers take hold. At the same time, vertical integration gives the big players even more avenues to cross-sell and cross-market their products for even more amazing profits. An effect of this though is a reduction in diversity and depth of content that the public can get, while increasing the political and economic power of corporations and advertisers. An informed population is crucial element to a functioning democracy.
As advertising becomes more important for businesses, larger companies are able to spend more and more on sophisticated ways to make us buy their products. Advertisers also exert direct and indirect influence on the media companies and their content in order to foster moods and cultures where consumers are more likely to buy their products. As a consequence, dumbing down of content is not uncommon. Media companies sell consumers to their customers, the advertisers, who bring in the money that allows media companies to survive.
Large, corporate-owned media are free trade proponents. However, as described in the free trade section of this web site, the actual way in which the current form of overly corporate oriented free trade has been carried out, compared to the theories and idea, is an area of much discussion and warranted criticism. As a consequence, the coverage of alternative views and critique has been either avoided, or almost ignored, because the same international free trade system benefits the large media companies that are also global. Diverse views are therefore not expressed and not available for most people.